Dyslexia

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Dyslexia
Whether we graduate from highschool or college we all hope to find a challenging
career that will propel us forward in today's society. For those suffering from
dyslexia this only adds to the frustration and fears associated with seeking
employment. Many adults with dyslexia or other forms of learning disabilities
never disclose their disability in interviews or once employed for fear of being
discriminated against. Several investigators have noted, however, that many
persons with learning disabilities adjust well to the demands and complexities
of adulthood. (Greenbaum et al. 1996). The basic cause of dyslexia is still not
known, however, much research is being done to determine the problems underlying
dyslexia. In many cases, dyslexia is highly inherited. Studies have shown a
number of genes that may set the stage for its development. Characteristics of
dyslexia are now more apparent to educators than ever before. Early educational
interventions are helping individuals to manage their dyslexia. There have been
some studies that attend to accommodating persons with learning disabilities in
post-secondary and occupational settings. Only a few articles will be reviewed
having been found worthy of this subject. However, before reviewing the
articles, in order to gain a greater understanding of the types of learning
disabilities people face lets define one of the most significant learning
problems: dyslexia. A Type of Learning Disability: What is Dyslexia? The word
dyslexia is derived form the Greek dys (meaning poor or inadequate) and lexis
(works or language). Dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by problems
in expressive or receptive, oral or written language. Problems may emerge in
reading, spelling, writing, speaking, or listening. Dyslexia is not a disease;
it has no cure. Dyslexia describes a different kind of mind, often gifted and
productive, that learns differently. Dyslexia is not the result of low
intelligence nor is the problem solely intelligence. An unexpected gap exists
between learning aptitude and achievement in school. Dyslexia is not truly a
visual or auditory problem, but a language problem. Dyslexia results from
differences in the structure and function of the brain. People with dyslexia are
unique; each having individual strengths and weaknesses. Many dyslexics are
creative and have unusual talents in areas such as art, athletics, architecture,
graphics, electronics, mechanics, drama, music, engineering, and medical
professions. Dyslexics often show special talent in areas that require visual,
spatial, and motor integration. Their problems in language processing
distinguish them as a group. This means that the dyslexic has problems
translating language to thought (as in listening or reading) or thought to
language (as in writing or speaking). After looking at what dyslexia means and
some characteristics of this disability now lets look at a study of learning
disabilities in the workplace. Research by Greenbaum, Graham, and Scales (1996)
adults with learning disabilities in the work place indicate that most adults
adjust well to the demands and complexities of adulthood. The purpose of this
study was to identify occupational and social status of adults with learning
disabilities once after college. This study was conducted at the University of

Maryland. Only eighty-one students with learning disabilities received
assistance from the office of Disability Support Services during a twelve-year
span from 1980 to 1992. In the study conducted by Greenbaum, Graham, and Scales
(1996), out of the 81 former students, 49 adults with learning disabilities
agreed to be interviewed about their current employment and social status. The
study was based on increasing reports of adults with learning disabilities in
recent years and the questions about the efficacy of special education services.

As Patton and Polloway (1992) cited by Greenbaum et al. (1996) noted, the
scenario for many adults with learning disabilities is characterized by
unemployment, low pay, part-time work, frequent job changes, non-interaction
with community, limitations in independent living, and limited social lives.

Several investigators within this study noted persons with disabilities adjust
well in adulthood years. Greenbaum et al. (1996) found that a number of adults
with learning disabilities were employed in white-collar jobs (e.g. lawyer,
urban planner, and real estate investor). Thirty seven percent of adults with
learning disabilities studied by Gerber et al. as cited by Greenbaum et al.,
classed as highly successful in their job, eminence within their occupation,
earned income, job satisfaction and education. Within all three studies, one
factor for success for adults with learning disabilities was the level of
education. Persons with mild learning disabilities who dropped out of high
school are often employed at a lower rate than persons with mild disabilities
who graduated. (Edgar, l987; Hasazi, Gordon, & Roe, l985; Zigmond &

Thornton, l985). Persons with learning disabilities who graduated from college
are

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